March

March — new life; the earth awakens and responds to a new season .. time now to till, to sow, and to contribute to the newness.

1. Get a head start on spring insects. Watch for and control aphids which feed on new growth; cutworms, scale and caterpillars.

2. Be prepared to eliminate or prevent insects and diseases as spring foliaged appears. Funiginex fungicide is highly recommended for black spot and mildew control on roses, continue to plant container roses.

4. Do not remove bulb foliage, as the foliage feeds the bulb; therefore, it should brown or “ripen” on the plant before removal. If daffodil foliage interferes with neighboring plants or become unsightly, plait the foliage.

5. Continue to plant the vegetable garden. Plant: tomato, cucumber, lettuce, beans, corn, mustard, cabbage, okra, radish, squash, spinach, turnips, eggplant, onions. Be prepared to protect young tender vegetable plants against late frost (average last frost date – March 15. So 50% percent of of frost happens after March 15.

6. Plant dahlia tubers in rich, well-drained soil in sun.

7. Repot overgrown pot plants in late March. Prepare a loose organic, well-drained potting soil which will not pack with regular waterings. Keep plants shaded.

8. Clean, thin out and transplant overcrowded perennial beds such as daylily, mum, liriope, shasta daisy, etc. Rework the soil before planting again. Replant at normal growing depth.

9. Complete gladiolus plantings.

10. Prepare the lawnmower for its spring and summer workout.

11. Prune back overgrown and/or winter damaged ground cover beds of English Ivy, asiatic jasmine and vinca to encourage new compact growth.

12. Control springs weeds, which quickly seed for next year’s crop. Do not allow to go to seed. Grab out easy-to-pull weeds.

13. Continue to feed pansies a light application and continue to pick blooms to encourage more flowering.

14. Prevent azalea petal blight which attacks the blooms only, causing them to collapse as if scalded. May be prevented by spraying flowering azaleas at 2 – 3 day intervals with Dithane Z-789, Thylat or Zerlate.

15. Fertilize azaleas and camellias as soon as blossoms begin to fade. Several light applications of an acid-type fertilizer at monthly intervals is better than one heavy application. Mulch for the summer.

16. Collect pecan graft wood and store in refrigerator for grafting in April and May.

17. Plant ground cover plants such as English Ivy, liriope, confederate jasmine, vinca, dwarf junipers, etc.

18. Caladium tubers are now available in the nurseries and garden store. Make you selection early to insure getting the colors you want. Do not plant out-of-doors until the soil temperatures reach 70 degrees F. late March and April.

19. Prune spring flowering plants immediately after bloom and just prior to spring growth. Prune winter injured plants such as obelia, pittosporum and azalea to encourage new growth.

20. Plant spring and summer annuals. Plant after danger of frost and freeze – early sping annual best planted from transplants so as to lessen summer heat – summer annuals such as zinnia, marigold, cosmos, vinca, etc. may be seeded.

21. Continue to plants woody trees and shrubs. Select and plants azaleas while in bloom. Cut and loosen root ball on azaleas prior to planting. Plant in organic soil at normal growing depth.

22. Select and plant flowering perennial for garden color. Plantings may include cannas, shasta daisies, daylilies, yarrow, columbine, hosta, garden violets, iris, lantana and many others.

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